Getting into the Back-to-School Swing!

Young couple walking together --- Image by © Rachel Frank/Corbis

The start of school can be tricky after a nice, fun, relaxing summer break. Here are a few helpful hints to help transition back-to-school in a smooth manner.

Make room in the pantry or refrigerator for designated snacks. Not only will you have foods ready to supplement lunch, but those looking for food will know which snacks that they can have, without having to ask you what’s okay to eat or what the portion size should be.

Set expectations. Have a chat about what to expect when school is back in session. Will the children have afterschool activities every day? Will they still be able to play with the neighbors when then get home? Knowing what to expect will allow for a smoother transition when they get home.

Lay out clothing for school the night before. Gone are the days of changing two or three times before heading out the door! The morning can be a time of rush and chaos. Planning ahead will allow everyone to breathe a bit more in the morning. If you have a child that likes options, pull out two outfits that they can choose from. Better yet, place dividers in the closet with a label of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and have your charge hang up an outfit behind the designated day so clothing is planned out for the week.

Make a calendar with important school dates, after school activities, specified homework time and any other appointments the children have. Assigning a different color for each child is helpful so you can glance ahead and have an idea of what the week looks like for each person in the house.

Set an alarm before bed. If you help get your charges out the door in the morning it might be helpful to make sure they each have their own alarm – not a cell phone or a tablet, but an actual alarm clock. Upper elementary and older children enjoy the responsibility of accomplishing a task on their own time frame. Let them do it. They may surprise you!